Barack Obama — May 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

An America That Works Together


How to cure Wall Street’s sad.

Rumor has it Wall Street isn’t happy with the President.

The engineers of the financial markets that crumbled in 2008 think the President needs to give a speech similar to the “A More Perfect Union” speech he gave during his first campaign. He’ll bring the country together, ending all class resentment and restoring Wall Street to its superhero patriot status. Another bailout, so to speak.

I’ll give Wall Street this; at least they recognize they are a problem, the controversial Reverend Wright of now who needs to be explained, interpreted.

Of course, Wall Street is also opposing any reforms that would prevent another financial crisis along with any policies that could reverse the dramatic transfer of wealth to the richest Americans that has taken place since 1979.

It’s hard to feel sympathy with that. It’s much easier to understand why people are occupying.

But Wall Street isn’t alone.

Many of the richest Americans in this country fund the insanity behind Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. It’s a suicide pact that says the richest Americans will never be asked to pay a penny more than they do now—even if taxes are lower than they’ve been in 50 years, even if the tax breaks we can’t afford were meant to be temporary.

Of course, many rich Americans want to let their Bush tax breaks expire; they want to tax investment at the same rates as labor; they want to balance the budget without gutting the social safety net.

But there is more than enough money behind Norquist to elect majorities and Presidents who will never ask those who can to pay more. And if they even think of raising taxes, they’ll face primary challengers made of pure Rubio.

Listen to how Norquist imagines the role of the President in our democracy.

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.

America cannot afford to let the Tax Taliban hijack our politics any more.

We cut taxes for millionaires like Mitt Romney and they spent it or banked it abroad. The net gain of the Bush tax breaks is zero. And we’ll be paying for them forever.

Americans love a success story. As Bill Maher points out, using nearly every metric except car elevators, Barack Obama is more successful that Mitt Romney. The difference is, President Obama didn’t become successful by cheapening the value of American labor.

As our Success-Story-in-Chief, the President is in the unique position to speak to all Americans.

The millionaires who think the working class is lazy, the men who think women can’t handle their uteri, the Wall Street bankers who don’t think we know the banks are still too big to fail, the President can say to them all: we can only do this together.

Just as we’re not going to prevent abortions by cutting back women’s health, we’re not going to grow richer by making our economy more likely to crash or by taking away crucial services to the poor.

We must all rise together. The poor can’t be tossed aside to keep us afloat. A cracked ship will go down anyway.

The President can bring us all together by asking Wall Street to lead. Help the reform, don’t stop it.

Then go a step further, Wall Street. Ask the right wing to abandon their millionaire tax pledges. Let our only pledge be to these United States, one nation united for the good of the 100%.